Housing and Residence Life
Students and their families will experience an elongated move-in period over the course of several days to allow for the safest environment possible. We will restrict the number of persons who can assist with move-in activities and students will be provided with a time slot during which they will move-in to their individual residence hall.
Students who need a specific housing accommodation due to a COVID-19 related concern are directed to Disability Support Services. Accommodations may include assignment to a single room where medically indicated.
Housing and Residence Life will require face coverings in all common spaces when physical distancing cannot be achieved. Signage will be displayed in the interior and exterior of buildings describing COVID-19 protocols and expected standards of behavior. Visitors to residence halls will be limited.
When a student has a positive COVID test, suspected positive, or close contact
Students who live off-campus will discuss their living arrangements with their medical provider to determine the best scenario for isolation/quarantine.
Students living on campus in a residence hall or fraternity/sorority house [referred to as a residential student] are strongly encouraged to use the campus I/Q facility, but may choose to move home under care of family. When students choose the campus I/Q facility, the following procedures are in place:
- The student will be permitted to return briefly to their residence hall or fraternity/sorority housing to pick up personal items while wearing protective gear.
- They will then immediately check into our Isolation/Quarantine facility. The student will be allowed to drive to and park at the I/Q facility. If the student does not have a vehicle, transportation will be provided to take them to the I/Q facility. A representative from Student Affairs will greet them upon arrival and ensure they have everything they need.
- Students will be provided with extensive instructions regarding expectations of their I/Q, contact information for on-call personnel, and a welcome bag including food and other supplies.
- All facilities will have on-call and on-site non-medical staff available.
- MSU Dining will provide meals to individuals in keeping with Aramark standards for “Delivering Food to Quarantined Individuals”. Food can additionally be delivered, at the student’s expense, from local restaurants as they order it.
- The Longest Student Health Center will provide on-call response to the people in our facilities. This on-call person will check-in with those isolated everyday by phone. Overnight consultation will be available by phone with a healthcare provider.
- Student experiencing severe symptoms may be referred to emergency services for transport to the hospital if necessary
- If there are concerns regarding the roommate of a student waiting on test results, MSU will provide accommodations.
Current CDC data suggests that a cloth face covering may protect the wearer and prevent the spread of the virus to others. Visit CDC's DIY Cloth Face Coverings to see CDC guidelines on the use of face coverings.
All dining facilities will allow for to-go and pre-packaged options. Disposable goods will be used and there will be no buffets or self-service permitted in any dining facility. All transactions will be cashless. Frequent sanitization of dining facilities will occur. Density of dining halls and campus eateries will follow physical-distancing guidelines and state public health guidance.
MSU’s dining partner, Aramark, will conduct employee screening and be responsible for the provision of personal protective equipment and protective barriers to facilitate dining employee safety.
Students who are in on-campus housing designated for isolation will be provided with contact-free delivery by Dining Services.
For more information, please see Dining Services Return to Campus Plan.
Student Counseling Services
We recognize the difficulty the COVID-19 crisis may place on the mental and emotional well-being of our students. Students can access free, confidential counseling services. Student Counseling Services is operating and accepting student appointments. If you would like to reach the Student Counseling Services go directly to Student Counseling Services where you will be greeted by one of our counselors online. If you reach out after 5 pm, Monday through Friday please call 662-325-2091.
Workshops related to COVID-19 related stressors are available. Visit https://www.counseling.msstate.edu for more information.
Student Organizations & Campus Events
In-person meetings and activities are permitted based upon appropriate capacity guidance from the MS Department of Health and/or CDC. Currently capacities are limited to 50% of available seating occupancy for conference spaces and 50% of available seating occupancy for theaters. Adherence to physical distancing requirements and use of face coverings in campus buildings are required. The availability of indoor spaces for campus events will be limited due to the use of space to accommodate the de-densification of classrooms. Student organizations are required to register all events through Cowbell Connect and are strongly encouraged to require RSVPs. Attendance tracking at all events will be required as well to enable communication. Student organizations are encouraged to consider outdoor events and/or virtual programming as alternatives.
For more information, please see additional guidance related to student life activities.
The Sanderson Center is operating under guidance from the Governor of the State of MS and operating with reduced capacity. Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols are in place along with physical distancing of machines and patrons. Intramural and club sports will be facilitated in the fall semester in keeping with guidance from the CDC.
Athletics has begun its “Return to Play” protocols and student athletes have begun their return to campus. Athletics is facilitating an extensive testing and screening protocol with all student athletes and personnel who are interacting with student athletes. Decisions regarding how athletic events will be managed in Fall 2020 are forthcoming and will be in keeping with guidance from the Mississippi Department of Health, the NCAA and the Southeastern Conference (SEC).
MSU hosted in-person meetings and activities are permitted based upon appropriate capacity guidance from the MS Department of Health and/or CDC. Currently capacities are limited to 50% of available seating occupancy for conference spaces and 50% of available seating occupancy for theaters. Adherence to physical distancing requirements and use of face coverings in campus buildings are required. Any event/meeting with food must include boxed meals or grab-and-go options. Buffet service or self-service is not allowed.
Quarantine of a Residence Hall Floor or Fraternity/Sorority House
It may be necessary to quarantine all residents of a residence hall floor/wing or a fraternity/sorority house based on the number of positive cases and close contacts in that location. In those instances, all floor/house residents will be notified and provided with instructions about the availability of quarantine facilities provided by the university. Quarantine is a 14-day period that those exposed to an infectious COVID patient must spend alone, away from others, to prevent the transmission of COVID should the person become infectious. This 14-day period is required because exposed individuals can become contagious up to 14 days after exposure and not realize it. A negative test for COVID-19 does not remove the necessity of quarantining. Every effort will be made to provide timely notification of quarantine status.